A thriving business is made up of thriving staff. This is especially true in sales, where dynamism and passion are vital. A team of hardworking, motivated experts will see a business go from strength to strength. But if recruitment isn’t stellar? You could end up with a candidate who just isn’t right for the job, taking up the spot of someone who would be out there winning sales. Painful — but true.

Recruitment often centres around applications and interviews, but there’s a lot to consider before you even get candidates through the door. If you’re planning your next Saas or digital sales hire, use these tips to plan ahead and make your recruitment processes impressive and effective. Putting in some additional planning before the recruitment stage could make the whole process a lot easier in the long run.

Nail the job specification

A strong job description and person specification will attract the right candidates and make it easier for you at all stages of recruitment. If you’re not exactly sure of the qualities and experience you want the person to have, get this secure first. You could look around at competitors to see what language they use and the type of requirements they list. But ultimately, you’ll need to think about the qualities and experience most relevant to your company culture. What knowledge and experience do you require, and what can be learned on the job? Interrogate buzzwords like ‘confident’ ‘dynamic’ and ‘excellent communicator’ and try to drill down what exactly you mean by these.

Attract top talent

It’s important to be really clear on who and what you want, but also to sell the team and the business correctly. It can be tempting to jazz up the job description or the scope of the role in a bid to make it more appealing. But how will this affect retention, once the person is in post? Attract the right candidates and make a strong impression with a clear, honest job advert.

Build plenty of trust and appeal right from the get-go. This means not just focusing on what you want from the candidate, but what you can offer them. Think about the salary and other benefits, including things like training and flexible working, carefully. If you want to attract top sales talent, you have to make an attractive and competitive offer. You’ll also want to make the company culture appealing when you speak with candidates. You could share recent successes within the team to help bring the work culture to life, as it can be difficult for talent to gauge what the work will be like based on the job description alone.

Focus on the person, not the CV

Once you’ve got your ideal candidate in your head, you could think about what you’re willing to compromise on. Would you accept someone with less experience, if they had bucketloads of charisma? Getting clear on what’s most important to the role and what could be sacrificed can help when it comes to the interview stage. Some recruiters are most interested in finding the perfect personality, so they are more open to a CV that doesn’t necessarily tick all the boxes. Referrals from your personal network can be a great way to get candidates with the character you’re looking for. Once in the interview, asking open questions that encourage stories and examples can be a great way of gauging the person’s outlook, personality and working style.

Network on all fronts

There are lots of talented sales professionals out there who aren’t actively looking for jobs. Just because they’re not actively looking, doesn’t mean they won’t be tempted by your offer. So use your network to get the right candidates in front of you. As well as traditional word of mouth and face-to-face, don’t forget the power of social media. Linkedin can be a powerful tool to connect with experienced professionals. As well as advertising the job on this platform, you can also be advertising the company to potential candidates too. Make sure your company profile is complete and make the most of the ability to post articles and updates that showcase the company culture and expertise. You can apply this to any other social media platforms your company has.

Don’t go it alone

You might want to consider some expert help to secure the best candidate. If resources are an issue, you could consider automation technology to make recruitment more efficient, where possible. Automation services can help with candidate screening, making it quicker and easier to assess certain skills. Automation can also eliminate bias. But don’t rely too heavily on tech. Your new recruit will be a real person, and working in a human team. It’s important to consider how they’ll fit in and where they’ll shine, so the human element of SaaS recruitment is vital, too. Relying on a specialised recruitment agency can also help you uncover talented potential applicants that aren’t actively searching for opportunities right now, broadening your pool of candidates.

Remember, recruitment doesn’t end at the offer letter

As well as knowing who and how you want to recruit, you’ll need a bullet-proof onboarding process and airtight employee training processes to ensure your new recruits become part of the fabric. It’s disheartening to have a talented new recruit join, only to leave in the first month, not to mention a waste of important resources. If you’ve gone to the trouble of hiring the perfect candidate, don’t stop there. Having an effective onboarding process will mean recruitment resources and shiny new talent don’t go to waste. Make sure your new hire knows what training, mentoring and general support is available — and how to access these. You’ll also want to let them know all about performance reviews and how you define success. Having expectations and support in place from day one will help your fresh talent get off to a strong start.

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